- Increased risk of liver damage, heart disease and kidney disease
- Excessive weight gain, severely hindering your appetite-control system
- Heightened blood pressure and metabolic dysfunction
- Increased levels of anxiety and depression
So, how can you make sure to avoid excess sugars? By being vigilant about what’s in your food. Let’s talk about some common high-sugar “health treats” and what you can eat instead.
Often touted as a healthy breakfast alternative, granola can sneak its way into your breakfast disguised as a health hero. Experts aren’t split on this one—likening granola to candy and dessert. In fact, according to the New York Times, many commercial varieties of granola are packed full of sugar—enough to rival a piece of chocolate cake. Go for chia seeds, raw nuts and seeds or dark berries instead!
If you’re eating a salad, chances are you’re not in it for the sugar—which is a bummer for salad dressing enthusiasts out there. As it turns out, salad dressing can be pretty rich in sodium, sugar and saturated fats. Combined with artificial flavors, coloring and preservatives? Pass on this one. We recommend making your own, using good, natural ingredients like olive oil (select carefully!), balsamic vinegar, garlic and Dijon mustard.
In the last few years, non-dairy milk alternatives have become the name of the game—soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk… even pea milk! However, even while offering a slew of nutritional perks, keep an eye out on those labels—some types of soy milk can have up to 14 grams of added sugar! Look for non-GMO, plant-based milks with no additives, sugars and oils.
Fruits are naturally high in sugar and are best consumed in moderation! Dried fruits, however, are a different beast all together. Many companies sweeten their dried fruit even further—there can be up to 29 grams of sugar in one handful of dried cranberries. Look for dried fruit with no additional sugars or ingredients or opt for organic fresh fruit!
Protein, calcium, Vitamin D, probiotic power… we get it—yogurt seems like one of the healthiest breakfast and snack options around. And honestly, it can be. It’s all about selection; some yogurts can have up to 30 grams of sugar (that’s more than a Snickers bar!). Pass on low-fat, flavored yogurts and go for plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt. You can add a few fresh berries, a drizzle of local honey or even some organic, free-range chicken.